Capitalism is unsustainable. So say the UN scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in a recently leaked draft report.

No doubt the statement will have been removed by the time the final report is published, but the truth is out. Climate activist Simon Hannah puts it more bluntly: “Global warming…caused by human activity is rooted in a social and economic system that has a parasitoid (sic) relationship to the earth.”

Capitalism is killing the planet and millions of people living on it and the time has come to challenge the elephant in the room.

We know we’re running out of time, but just how do we build a future beyond capitalism?

First, and at the very least, we put capitalism front and centre of the climate emergency agenda and we talk about it. But even that isn’t easy.

We’ve come to accept capitalism as a dogma. And to challenge it is heresy.

Worse is the propaganda that tells us there is no alternative, that somehow the market and technology will respond to the unfolding ecological disaster, and that the trillions of pounds sloshing around in offshore funds will save the day.

Another diversionary tactic is to pit country against country in a futile blame game.

Thus the US blames China for emitting more greenhouse gases than any other nation, while China blames the US for historic levels of pollution. The result? Promise after promise. Target after target. Conference after conference. Next up is Cop26 in Glasgow, which will, no doubt, be another cop out.

Meanwhile, global capitalism eats up dwindling resources to maintain the wealthy in the lavish style to which they’ve become accustomed; whether that be in Beijing or Boston, Moscow or Manchester.

Capitalism divides us. Rich from poor, obviously.

But the vast majority of the world’s population who lose out are divided among themselves too, fighting over the crumbs while the wealthy see their assets grow exponentially.

Billionaires like Richard Branson and Elon Musk own islands, aeroplanes and rockets, while millions of people don’t have enough to eat.

Overcoming global capitalism to protect our planet requires global action, which we aren’t getting from global leaders, certainly not our own.

The UK Government is still perversely expanding airports and giving permission to oil companies to explore new fields.

Wales has shown what is possible by finally scrapping the M4 relief road and declaring a climate emergency, but much more radical action is required.

If there ever was a time for green, left and independence activists to work for a people-centred alternative - call it socialism if you want - then that time is now. It may be too late, but that is no excuse to do nothing.

The movement we build must look beyond our shores to become part of a global force which represents the many not the few. That building begins in our local communities. And it begins now.

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